COVID-19 laws seen as draconian got a judgment handed down on June 3rd. The court noted the current laws infringe the South African Constitution. The judgement possibly saw celebration by people with recently unbanned alcohol, but there remains a caveat. smokers can’t celebrate just yet and must wait.
UPDATE: Breaking news June 4 – Government will appeal constitutional court judgement.
Cabinet agrees on the extended state of the National Disaster for one month.
COVID-19 laws still remain in place for smokers
According to High Court Judge, Norman Davis, the current laws were declared unconstitutional. However, he pointed out a two-week window for the government and, especially the minister of Cooperative Governance to revisit their current COVID-19 dictates. This could mean that South Africa’s smokers may wait for another two weeks on the news they may legally buy cigarettes. The ongoing frustrations and agonies of nicotine deprived nationals continue for now
Currently, in court defending two cases brought against it, the South African government pleaded for more time to prepare for a continuation of the tobacco ban. Citing ill health and vulnerability to complications for smokers with COVID-19, Minister Dhlamini Zuma repeatedly insisted the ban remains. Presumably, both the pending court cases and the recent judgement handed down forces a redefinition of her COVID-19 rules. No doubt the Minister of Finance, the SARS Commissioner, and the smokers, all wait with bated breath for the end of the two-week window.
#cigaretteban continues trending on Twitter
On Twitter, those people who support the lifting of the ban still talk about it daily. Apart from the ban on buying and selling, new rules say smokers found with cigarettes in a public must produce receipts. Fed, up, they demand their right of personal choice. The level 3 ban came despite around 600k people signing a portion for its removal. 947 reported that Lester Kiewit spoke with “Author, publisher and recovering addict Melinda Ferguson .”
Melinda’s one of the “10 co-applicants in the Batsa case.” She told Lester that without nicotine, she might never have given up her addiction to “heroin and crack cocaine.”The outlet noted, “Ferguson says very little thought was put into the prohibition and the impact on smokers’ mental health, financial sanity, and bodily autonomy.”
Actually, many people on Twitter understand the issues of mental health and autonomy. One person tweeted, “How long…with this ridiculous #cigaretteban. I have really had enough of being treated like a child!!!!”
Your thoughts about the extra two weeks requested for more attempts at continuing the smoking ban, even though the draconian rules got found unconstitutional: Sound off in the comments.
Remember to check back with SAns Newsfeed often for more news about the COVID-19 regulations in South Africa.